Dropping a pipette full of MANTLE's balancing The Original Oil into your coffee may not seem like such a life-changing act. Yet, little do you know that in your actions, such as a simple morning routine, lie a powerful engagement with restorative rituals which tap into the psyche. Balancing practices can include the action involved in the repetitive motions of taking CBD.
Personal experiences have always been there, showing us that any ritual or routine on its own, no matter how small, can have powerful benefits over your wellbeing and productivity over time. The simple act of having little routines and rituals could potentially make us more balanced in the long run.
Rituals In a Pandemic
If you haven't quite noticed the pandemic which currently surrounds us, fear not, you're in the loop now. As a consequence of social isolation, we have found ourselves distanced from daily routines and rituals in one way or another. Whether that means working from home instead of from the office, changing your eating habits (because if a pandemic isn't the best time to eat your feelings, when is?) or simply taking more walks to treat your lungs to some fresh air, things have changed. As another consequence, the questions which have been issued so far on how this shift has affected human productivity have been vast. Now, these questions are a great showcase of something important: how routine and ritual may have an effect on our productivity.
Rituals and Productivity
So, unless you're one of the lucky few, you might find that productivity has been somewhat lost in the face of global pandemonium, mass cases of job loss, and ever-changing circumstances. In other words, the desire to get up and go can be hard to find during a pandemic, sometimes appearing, other times disappearing in worrying peaks and troughs. It can be challenging to motivate yourself under normal circumstances- during a period of isolation, with panic on one shoulder, uncertainty on the other? Hard.
We, here at MANTLE, recognise that times are hard, and productivity and efficiency should never be more important than your mental health, which is why, for those days when everything seems to be getting the better of you, the restorative benefits of engaging in ritual or routine can be a sacred thing to cling to. See, engaging in balancing rituals proves to boost the spirit and possibly improve mental health considerably.
What's this got to do with being productive? Well, it has been shown that improving self-care habits, uplifting mood, and boosting spirits have a natural effect in improving productivity by up to 12%. So, when we talk about the sanctity of a balancing daily ritual- such as dropping that CBD oil into your favourite morning drink or massaging our CBD-infused skincare gems into your skin- we're talking about improving other avenues of your life as well. With higher well being comes higher standards of self-care and self-love. And, with higher self-love, comes a sense of accomplishment which can be exacerbated by being more productive- getting more work done, and, ultimately, unlocking the old dopamine rush can trigger a chain-reaction of motivation and accomplishment.
Since we are always surrounded by unpredictability, a grounding ritual to remind us that we must value our own self-care and individuality can have incredible knock-on effects in other avenues of our lives. So no, we aren't saying you should become a machine and prioritise work over your mental health. Rather, we're saying: take pleasure in the sanctity of your daily, weekly, and monthly routines and rituals. Because, as experience tells us, every restorative ritual accompanies tendrils of self-love. And with self-love comes the desire to feel more, be more, and accomplish more.
The Sanctity of Repetition
For centuries, the act of repeating and repetition in our daily actions has had positive effects on the brain and body. When we repeat something, we build up a tolerance to it (think about daily exercises, or memorising a speech). In fact, our bodies are hard-wired to value repetitive motions. It was initially Freud who talked about the compulsion to repeat or 'repetition compulsion', which exists in all human beings.
Freud hypothesised that repeating an action stems from the unconscious trying to recreate our childhood in order to reach a conclusion of some sort. In other words, we repeat things because that's what children do (such as when a child throws a toy in anger and retrieves that toy just to throw it again) and we want to act out our childhood to overcome it.
Now, we all recognise that Freud has some explaining to do- a lot of his psychology stems from the world of sexism, and much of it is very up-for-debate by modern standards- but, the repetition compulsion might be a good reason why rituals and routines are so vital to us. It explains why things which we encounter on a daily basis might pose more comfort and familiarity. More importantly, according to cognitive scientist Elizabeth Margulis, things which are familiar to us are sweeter, yes. Still, they are also comforting enough that we can indulge in them so unconsciously that they can become avenues to improving other parts of our lives.
Margulis illustrates this best when she uses the metaphor of music. She states that repetition in music is known to us as something that allows us to look at the big picture (the song or tune), as a whole, even while taking us through life moment-by-moment (lyric by lyric, note by note). In the same way that Margulis talks about using one's familiarity with a song or music piece to further 'know' it, we can also say that repeating a seemingly incongruous act, such as taking CBD oil every morning, can boost our understanding of ourselves and what we want out of our lives. The small moment of dropping some CBD oil onto the tongue can be familiar enough that our feelings of balance extend to other avenues. Little moments of familiarity can impact various things, such as how productive we are, because familiarity breeds a deeper understanding of what we want and how to get it.
Rituals On The Brain
Much of how rituals may impact our productivity is a result of the way our brains work. According to Dr Nick Hobson, a neuroscientist and founder of The Behaviourist, the human brain has two modes of thought: instrumental thinking and ritualistic thinking. Where instrumental thinking relies on rationality and goals- essentially, doing things which serve a clear purpose for a logical reason ('I’m going to skip the pancakes this morning and have a nice bowl of oats because I want to be healthy’), ritualistic thinking is pretty much the opposite. It’s instinctive, doesn’t quite make immediate sense, and does what the name implies: engages us in ritual, instinctive behaviour, stemming from no clear sense of logic.
Ritualistic Behaviour: Explained
Our brains value ritualistic behaviour so much that it makes up a good half of our thinking processes. Think about the values we place on religion, spirituality, ceremonies (such as funerals, weddings, birthdays), and more- we’re talking about putting up the Christmas tree every year, singing certain songs in certain places, working Monday to Friday, eating at certain times of the day, and so forth. What separates a ritual from a habit is the repetitiveness, the fact that it’s done at a particular time or day, and, most importantly, the sense of loss which can accompany missing out on a ritual. This gives rituals, and subsequently routines, a level of formality which can’t be afforded to a habit. The brain makes connections we aren’t conscious of when we do things according to time and schedule, and that’s when the action behind the ritual gains true meaning.
According to Dr Hobson, when we perform a ritual, the brain’s anxiety-response becomes muted. It makes a lot of sense: the way our brain responds to certain things tie in heavily to how we view life. Something like a ritual, which is when a habit is done, repetitively, at a specific time, can suggest to our brain that we require it. Consequently, a ritual can become grounding, a form of relief, which surpasses the actual act and stems from the repetitive motions.
A refreshing self-care ritual can manifest as many different things. It can be any action which prioritises your wellbeing and makes you feel all the more better for doing it. But what makes a ritual restorative and healthy?
The Signs Of A Healthy Ritual
It’s important to understand what makes a routine or ritual healthy and restorative, so as to find an appropriate means to balanced mindfulness and productivity. The best way to determine that your ritual is a healthy one is actually pretty simple: does your routine or ritual help you view life in a better way?
The way we like to consider if a ritual is truly good for you is to view it like one would view a personal relationship- be it romantic, platonic, parental, or anything else. If your relationship makes you consider all other areas of your life in a better way, then you know that relationship is good for you. If the relationship gives you a bleak outlook on life, makes you feel that you cannot function without it, or negatively impacts your personal sense of balance, it can't possibly be right for you. In the same way, a ritual which harms your body or makes you feel sad, angry, hurt, or distracted isn’t a ritual at all. Much like a toxic relationship, it is probably hard to extract from and might provide a bleak sort of satisfaction in the moment, which, ultimately, will not translate well into other avenues of your life.
CBD In Rituals and Routines
The notion behind repetitively taking CBD can be the ultimate double whammy: not only are you engaging in a conscious act of familiarity, you are also promoting the slow impact of balance in your life and routine. Similarly, since CBD is so versatile and balancing, it can be used in a variety of ways: you can bathe in it, eat it, spread it on your skin, or breathe it in. The choice is yours.
How To Incorporate CBD Into Daily Ritual
One of the best ways to incorporate the centring effects of CBD into daily life is to set reminders. Since a regular habit, when maintained regularly, can quickly lead to a long-lasting automatic routine or ritual, it’s important to ensure you take your CBD at the same time, every day, week, or month- at whatever frequency suits your individual needs.
It’s also a great idea to incorporate CBD into your routine in a way that suits you. If you prefer to take regular baths, then investing in a weekly CBD soak is a perfect way of indulging in a self-care ritual. If you love your candies, taking your CBD as a post-dinner treat might be especially ideal. The point of a ritual is to capture your attention, bring you to the present moment, and, most importantly, leave you feeling good and balanced. If you want something to do with your hands and lips as you walk the dog or sit in the garden, a CBD vape might be perfect for you.
The beauty of ritual is that it is bespoke, and can be personalised and adapted to your individual desires. So, the best way to incorporate CBD as a ritual or routine in your life is to do it in a way that’s best for you. It’s a great thing, then, that CBD is pretty much perfect in its versatility: it’s adapted to bring balance to anyone and everyone.
One wonders whether CBD was created for the purpose of ritual itself.
The Best Thing About Rituals
Preparing a CBD bath and sinking into it, or dropping CBD into a cup of morning coffee, are so effective in balancing us, because the self-care rituals they are part of ground us.
With the repetition of rituals comes comfort. With this comfort comes a deeper understanding of who we are, and how we should carry on with our lives. In other words, rituals and routines remind us that we deserve to feel this comforted and secure in every avenue of life.
So, we at MANTLE say: the more restorative the ritual, the more we are for it… and a dash of CBD’s balancing effects couldn’t hurt either!